At each stop it has taken along its evolutionary journey, Edison2’s Very Light Car (VLC) has impressed. And, just last week, the car that co-won the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X prize in 2010, drew oohs and aahs once more as the newest incarnation of VLC architecture (VLC 4.0) was unveiled by Edison2’s CEO and founder Oliver Kuttner at a special event held at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
This showing was especially revealing as the VLC was displayed sans skin. That’s right, car lovers at the event were able to peer deep into the car to see how, say, its unique and lightweight suspension connects the VLC’s chassis to its axles with few contact points.
Kuttner says that it is this type of technology that makes the aluminum-framed VLC a great choice for drivers in emerging markets (are they still emerging?) such as China and India. The present incarnation of the VLC has more room for its driver and passengers and can be had as either a two-stroke-gas-engine powered vehicle or one powered purely by an electric motor. The 2011 EV VLC (eVLC) achieved 350 MPGe city/highway and 245 MPGe on the EPA 5-cycle test.
There is no doubt that anyone who plucks down $20,000 for the VLC will be noticed in the streets as he zips around town in a vehicle that looks something like a cockpit on wheels. However, its appearance is not just about form, it provides plenty of function as well by giving it the aerodynamics needed to give it a top speed of 150 miles per hour.
There is some lively debate going on over at Engadget right now concerning the safety, viability, and future of low-mass vehicles.
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